NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 23, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 23, 2023

The league-leading Bruins extend their win streak over the Sharks to 11 games, the Devils’ Jack Hughes reaches a notable scoring milestone, the Canucks replace Bruce Boudreau as head coach with Rick Tocchet, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Boston Bruins picked up their 11th straight win over the San Jose Sharks by blanking them 4-0. Linus Ullmark made 17 saves for the shutout, becoming the fastest goaltender in NHL history to win 25 games in a season. Charlie McAvoy and Hampus Lindholm each had a goal and an assist for the Bruins (37-5-4) as they sit atop the overall standings with 78 points, 12 ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Over the weekend, the Bruins announced that center Tomas Nosek will be sidelined for a month with a non-displaced fracture in his left foot.

The Bruins will have an opportunity to set the single-season record for wins if they maintain their current pace over the remainder of the schedule. The 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings and 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning share the current record of 62 victories.

New Jersey Devils forward Jack Hughes (NHL Images)

An overtime goal by Dougie Hamilton lifted the New Jersey Devils to a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jack Hughes scored his 30th goal of the season to become the first Florida-born player in NHL history to reach that single-season milestone as his Devils (30-12-4) sit two points back of the Hurricanes in second place in the Metropolitan Division. Sidney Crosby replied for the 23-15-8 Penguins, who hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot with 54 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins activated center Ryan Poehling from injured reserve for this game. He’d been sidelined by an upper-body injury since Dec. 30.

Arizona Coyotes winger Clayton Keller tallied a hat trick to upset the Vegas Golden Knights 4-1. Karel Vejmelka kicked out 35 shots for the win as the Coyotes improved to 15-27-5. Phil Kessel scored for the Golden Knights (29-17-2), who’ve lost four of their last five and hold a one-point lead over the Seattle Kraken for first place in the Pacific Division with 60 points.

The Winnipeg Jets blew a 3-0 lead but recovered to down the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 5-3. Karson Kuhlman tallied the winning goal while Kyle Connor and Mark Scheifele also scored for the Jets (31-16-1), who move into a tie with the Central Division-leading Dallas Stars with 58 points. Kevin Hayes scored twice for the Flyers as they slipped to 20-21-7.

Los Angeles Kings forward Jaret Anderson-Dolan scored twice in a 2-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. The Kings (26-17-6) moved ahead of the Edmonton Oilers into third place in the Pacific Division with 58 points. Ian Mitchell replied for the 14-27-4 Blackhawks.

HEADLINES

VANCOUVER HOCKEY INSIDER: The Canucks yesterday fired Bruce Boudreau as head coach, replacing him with former Coyotes bench boss Rick Tocchet. They also announced Adam Foote has replaced Trent Cull as an assistant coach while Sergei Gonchar has been hired as a defensive development coach.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It had been speculated for a couple of weeks that Tocchet would take over as Canucks’ coach. He has six seasons of head-coaching experience with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Arizona Coyotes and was also an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins for three seasons.

Canucks fans knew this was coming but were understandably upset over management’s shoddy treatment of Boudreau leading up to his firing. Many took to social media to express their anger and disappointment with the organization.

Some fans also had a #FireTocchet hashtag trending on Twitter. However, that’s not fair to Tocchet, who had nothing to do with the Canucks’ shabby treatment of Boudreau. Let’s give him some time in the role to see how he does.

SPORTSNET: Eric Engels raised concern over the Montreal Canadiens’ treatment of Cole Caufield following the announcement on Saturday that he would undergo season-ending shoulder surgery. Engels wondered why the Canadiens’ medical staff didn’t shut down Caufield sooner rather than allowing him to continue playing through the injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a justifiable concern by Engels and he’s not the only member of the Montreal media puzzled by the Canadiens’ handling of Caufield’s condition. To be fair, reports indicated the young winger had been gritting his way through his injury, following the time-honored code of all professional hockey players of playing through pain.

Nevertheless, it was revealed there was concern that Caufield’s injury would worsen if he were hit or fell a certain way. That would’ve sidelined him for much longer and perhaps put his effectiveness as a scorer at risk.

Caufield is a foundation player for the rebuilding Canadiens. It seems foolhardy to allow him to continue playing with an injury that had the potential to adversely affect his playing career.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 22, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 22, 2023

The Oilers’ Connor McDavid reaches 40 goals on the season while Canucks fans bid farewell to Bruce Boudreau during Hockey Day in Canada, Canadiens winger Cole Caufield to undergo season-ending surgery, and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid tallied his league-leading 40th goal of the season to double up the Vancouver Canucks 4-2. Zach Hyman had a goal and three assists while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins collected three points for the Oilers (27-18-3), as they vaulted over the Los Angeles Kings into third place in the Pacific Division with 57 points.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid becomes the fastest player to reach 40 goals in a season (48 games) since Jaromir Jagr did it in 46 games in 1995-96.

The Canucks (18-25-3) have lost 10 of their last 12 games. Before the game, Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek reported they’re expected to announce the hiring of Rick Tocchet as their new head coach on Monday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That news prompted an outpouring of support for embattled head coach Bruce Boudreau on social media and from Canucks fans during this game. Boudreau was touched by the cheers from the fans, bidding them a tearful farewell at the end of the game.

As I said before, the Canucks’ front office handled this situation very badly. They could’ve just fired Boudreau and named one of their assistant coaches to replace him on an interim basis until a full-time bench boss was found. Instead, they left him to twist in the wind as rumors ramped up over his future, forcing him to answer questions from the media day after day over his impending fate. It reflects poorly on the Canucks as a franchise, raising concerns over the direction of the club.

An overtime goal by Rem Pitlick lifted the injury-depleted Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Pitlick finished the night with two points while Sam Montembeault stopped 36 shots as the Canadiens (20-24-3) overcame a 2-0 deficit to win three of their last four games. The 28-11-8 Leafs sit in second place in the Atlantic Division with 64 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Canadiens announced that Cole Caufield will undergo season-ending surgery to repair his injured right shoulder. Caufield’s agent revealed his client had played with the injury over the past two-three months and was willing to continue but team doctors decided he would risk worsening the damage. The 22-year-old winger is the 11th Hab currently sidelined, joining such notables as Carey Price, Brendan Gallagher, Sean Monahan, Paul Byron, Jonathan Drouin, Kaiden Guhle, Jake Allen and Juraj Slafkovsky.

Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho tallied a hat trick to lead his club over the New York Islanders by a score of 5-2, handing the latter their eighth loss in their last nine games. The Hurricanes (29-9-8) hold a four-point lead over the New Jersey Devils for first place in the Metropolitan Division with 66 points. With 51 points, the Islanders (23-20-5) remain two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Islanders recalled forward Aatu Raty to replace Cal Clutterbuck, who is sidelined indefinitely with an upper-body injury. Meanwhile, Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin missed this game with a lower-body injury.

Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger made 33 saves for his fourth shutout of the season to blank the Arizona Coyotes 4-0. Radek Faksa tallied twice for the Stars (28-13-7) as they hold a two-point lead over the Winnipeg Jets for first place in the Western Conference with 63 points. The Coyotes dropped to 14-27-5.

Speaking of the Jets (61 points), they improved to 30-16-1 with a 5-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. Captain Blake Wheeler had a goal and two assists to reach his 900th career point while Mark Scheifele scored twice and collected an assist. Josh Norris replied for the Senators as they slipped to 20-23-3.

The Vegas Golden Knights remain one point behind the Jets for third overall in the Western Conference by downing the Washington Capitals 6-2. Paul Cotter tallied twice while Nicolas Roy had a goal and two assists for the 29-16-2 Golden Knights while T.J. Oshie and Marcus Johansson replied for the 25-18-6 Capitals, who remain three points ahead of the Penguins in the first Eastern wild-card spot with 56 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin missed this game with a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day.

A shootout goal by Nathan MacKinnon lifted the Colorado Avalanche to a 2-1 win over the Seattle Kraken. Alex Newhook scored in regulation for the Avalanche (25-17-3) as they’ve won five straight and vaulted over the Calgary Flames into the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 53 points. Ryan Donato replied for the Kraken, who’ve dropped three of their last four contests. At 27-14-5 (59 points), they sit one point behind the first-place Golden Knights in the Pacific Division.

The Flames, meanwhile, defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-3 as Rasmus Andersson had a goal and two assists while Tyler Toffoli and Dillon Dube each had a goal and an assist. Steven Stamkos, Anthony Cirelli and Vladislav Namestnikov scored for the Lightning (29-15-1) as they sit in third place in the Atlantic Division with 59 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames (22-16-9) have the same number of points as the Avalanche (53), but the latter has three more wins and holds two games in hand.

Third-period goals by Ryan Johansen, Matt Duchene and Cole Smith powered the Nashville Predators to a 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Duchene scored twice while teammate Roman Josi collected three assists for the 22-18-6 Predators, who move within three points of the final Western Conference wild-card spot. The Kings (25-17-6) have lost three straight games and slipped into the first Western wild-card berth with 56 points.

Florida Panthers goaltender Alex Lyon kicked out 29 shots to win his first start of the season by beating the Minnesota Wild 5-3. Sam Reinhart and Anton Lundell each had a goal and an assist as the Panthers improved to 23-20-5. With 51 points, they’re two points out of the final Eastern wild-card berth. Kirill Kaprizov had three assists for the Wild (25-16-5) as they sit third in the Central Division with 54 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild played without winger Marcus Foligno as he is sidelined by a non-COVID-related illness.

The Chicago Blackhawks got a 29-save performance from Jaxson Stauber in his NHL debut to upset the St. Louis Blues 5-3. Jason Dickinson had a goal and two assists for the 14-26-4 Blackhawks, who’ve won six of their last seven games. Jordan Kyrou and Ivan Barbashev each had a goal and an assist for the Blues (23-21-3), who sit four points out of a wild-card spot in the West.

Buffalo Sabres forwards Victor Olofsson and Peyton Krebs each tallied two goals in a 6-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Ilya Lyubushkin collected three assists for the 23-19-3 Sabres as they moved to within four points of an Eastern wild-card spot with 49 points. Trevor Zegras scored twice and collected an assist for the 13-29-5 Ducks.

The Philadelphia Flyers got goals from Scott Laughton and Noah Cates to hold off the Detroit Red Wings 2-1. Carter Hart turned aside 30 shots for the Flyers (20-20-7) as they’ve won five of their last seven games. Lucas Raymond replied for the Red Wings as they slipped to 19-18-8 on the season.

Three unanswered third-period goals by Patrik Laine, Gustav Nyquist and Sean Kuraly lifted the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 5-3 win over the San Jose Sharks. The Jackets improved to 14-30-2 while the Sharks fell to 14-24-9.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 21, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 21, 2023

The Avalanche’s Nathan MacKinnon and the Penguins’ Jake Guentzel reach scoring milestones, Canucks fans voice support for embattled coach Bruce Boudreau and Hurricanes winger Max Pacioretty is sidelined again. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Colorado Avalanche picked up their fourth straight win by downing the Vancouver Canucks 4-1. Nathan MacKinnon collected two assists and Mikko Rantanen had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche (24-17-3), who moved ahead of the Calgary Flames into the final Western Conference wild-card berth. Both clubs have 51 points but the Avs hold three more wins and two games in hand over the Flames. Elias Pettersson replied for the Canucks (18-24-3), who’ve now lost six of their last seven contests.

Vancouver Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: MacKinnon reached the 50-point mark for the eighth consecutive season.

Meanwhile, Vancouver fans supported embattled Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau by serenading him with cries of “Bruce, there it is!” Another fan unfurled a sign that read, “We Stand With Bruce”.

There’s been intensifying rumors over the last two weeks suggesting Boudreau could be replaced by TNT hockey analyst and former Arizona Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet. The Canucks’ front office (specifically, president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford and general manager Patrik Allvin) has the power to make coaching changes if they wish.

Boudreau was already in the job when they took over and he isn’t the guy they want behind the bench. The problem, however, is they’re just letting him twist in the wind.

Everyone knows, Boudreau included, that he’s going to be replaced by Tocchet. If they don’t want him, they should’ve replaced him with an interim coach until they brought in his permanent replacement.

Their shabby treatment of Boudreau reflects poorly on the franchise and deepens the frustration among their fans over the club’s direction under team owner Francesco Aquilini.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel scored two goals and collected an assist in a 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. Tristan Jarry made 44 saves in his first start for the Penguins since Jan. 2 following an injury as the Penguins (23-15-7, 53 points) hold a two-point lead over the New York Islanders for the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot. Brady Tkachuk replied for the Senators, who dropped to 20-22-3 on the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Guentzel reached the 20-goal, 40-point plateau for the sixth straight season. Penguins defenseman Jeff Petry also returned to action for the first time since Dec. 10. Meanwhile, winger Kasperi Kapanen missed this game with a lower-body injury and is listed as week-to-week.

HEADLINES

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Bad news for Carolina Hurricanes winger Max Pacioretty as an MRI revealed he tore his right Achilles tendon for the second time since August. The 33-year-old winger made his season debut on Jan. 5 and appeared in five games with the Hurricanes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This injury not only ends Pacioretty’s season but could potentially derail his career. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The Hurricanes could pursue a potential replacement before the March 3 trade deadline.

TSN: The Minnesota Wild will scratch defenseman Matt Dumba for Saturday’s game against the Florida Panthers. He was also scratched from Thursday’s contest with the Carolina Hurricanes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dumba’s been the subject of growing trade speculation. I’ll have more later today in my NHL Rumor Mill update.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Oft-injured Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi suffered a lower-body injury during their 3-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday. He’s not expected to be out of the lineup for long.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens defenseman Mike Matheson was fined $5,000.00 for interference on Florida Panthers center Eric Staal during their game on Thursday.

Speaking of the Canadiens, former Hab P.K. Subban helped raise $6.3 million for Montreal’s Children’s Hospital. The original goal was to raise $10 million by 2022 but fundraising was slowed by the pandemic. Subban said he’ll extend the pledge to 2025 to reach the $10 million goal and he hopes to continue his partnership with the hospital for the long term.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: The Panthers have assigned goaltender Spencer Knight to their AHL affiliate in Charlotte for a conditioning stint.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: The Kraken will take to the ice for their warmups before Saturday’s game against the Avalanche wearing jerseys to honor the Year of the Rabbit.

DEFECTOR: Vox Media yesterday announced layoffs that will shut down all but six of their SB Nation NHL websites as well as most of their MLS websites. 130 employees will be affected.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This will affect a number of sites such as Blueshirt Banter, Broad Street Hockey, Copper and Blue, Davy Jones Locker Room, Die By The Blade, Five for Howling, Hockey Wilderness, Japers Rink, Knights on Ice, Nucks Misconduct, On The Forecheck, Pension Plan Puppets, Raw Charge, Second City Hockey, The Cannon and Winging It in Motown.

Many of those sites began as blogs between 15 and 20 years ago. I followed most of them for years and got to know some of the good folks who wrote for them, showcasing their work for several years with my Hockey Blog Beat.

Those blogs/websites provided an invaluable hockey community for fans and aspiring writers to share their views on their favorite teams and on the NHL in general. I know how painful it is to be laid off so I really feel for those who worked so hard to contribute to and maintain those sites. It’s such a shame to see them cast aside like this. Here’s hoping those sites can live on in some form.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 17, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – January 17, 2023

Changes are coming for the Canucks plus the latest on Erik Karlsson, John Klingberg, Jakob Chychrun and more in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

CHANGES IN STORE FOR CANUCKS

THE PROVINCE/THE ATHLETIC: Ben Kuzma and Harman Dayal. reports Jim Rutherford, the Vancouver Canucks president of hockey, indicated big changes are coming for the roster during a press conference on Monday to address the state of the franchise.

We have to do major surgery,” said Rutherford. He declined to call it a rebuild but felt it would be a retooling.

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford’s toeing the company line with that comment. Team owner Francesco Aquilini is reportedly dead set against rebuilding the roster.

He indicated that the club is stuck right now with contracts that they can’t move. “Until we move those out, or until they expire, it’s going to be hard to make changes. He also warned that some of the changes won’t be popular.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kuzma believes that last comment refers to team captain Bo Horvat. The 27-year-old center is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July and has become the subject of trade rumors after reportedly rejecting the Canucks’ contract offer earlier in the season.

Rutherford said the Canucks offer to Horvat was fair up to what he’s done in 2022-23 but it’s under market value for his performance this season. The center is on pace to score over 50 goals for the first time in his career.

It’s believed the Canucks can’t or won’t exceed J.T. Miller’s seven-year, $56 million contract in their dealings with Horvat. He could end up shopped by the March 3 trade deadline if the two sides fail to reach an agreement on a new deal.

Kuzma and Dayal both believe overpaying for Horvat will make it difficult to re-sign pending UFA winger Andrei Kuzmenko. Rutherford said they’ve recently opened contract talks with the 26-year-old winger.

Canucks fans hoping for Rutherford to trade Miller and re-sign Horvat are going to be disappointed. Rutherford pointed out the value of retaining players such as Miller. He also wasn’t concerned about how his contract could affect the Canucks over the long term because of the anticipated rise in the salary cap in the near future, which he believes could reach $90 million to $95 million. In the short term, however, Dayal pointed out that Miller’s deal is already having an impact on the Canucks because it’s hampering their efforts to re-sign Horvat.

Dayal also reported that Rutherford is willing to consider buying out contracts if they can’t move them via trade. While they can provide some short-term relief, Dayal noted that they come at a future cost, pointing out that a buyout of Oliver Ekman-Larsson would leave dead cap space on the Canucks’ books until 2031. I think Rutherford could be looking at someone with a year or two left on their contract like defenseman Tyler Myers.

Kuzma also wondered what Rutherford’s plans are for Brock Boeser. The winger’s agent has permission to speak with other clubs but his lack of production and league-wide salary-cap problems make it difficult to move Boeser’s $6.65 million cap hit.

Rutherford didn’t address Boeser’s situation but made a general statement that a player’s performance dictates his trade value. Even then, Rutherford indicated that a contract could still be tough to move if an interested club lacks the cap space to acquire him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford might have an easier time moving Boeser if he agreed to retain part of his cap hit. However, that’s a scenario he reportedly doesn’t want to do. It’s my belief the earliest Boeser gets moved is in the offseason when clubs have more cap room to work with and a greater willingness to make significant trades.

Talking about his trade plans, Rutherford said that he won’t necessarily seek draft picks in return. Instead, he prefers bringing in young players from other clubs that didn’t work out with their entry-level contracts and giving them a second chance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kuzma speculates the Canucks could target someone like the New York Rangers’ Alexis Lafreniere. Dayal, however, is skeptical whether that’s a workable strategy, suggesting recent reclamation projects like Ethan Bear, Travis Dermott, Jack Studnicka and Riley Stillman haven’t done much to improve the club.

Rutherford didn’t say much about the future of head coach Bruce Boudreau as rumors swirl that he could be replaced by Rick Tocchet. He admitted he’s spoken with some potential coaching candidates going back a couple of months. “All I can say is Bruce is our coach right now,” said Rutherford.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hardly a ringing endorsement or a vote of confidence for Boudreau by Rutherford. As Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman observed, it appears Boudreau will remain the Canucks coach until they’ve found a suitable replacement.

RUMOR TIDBITS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “32 THOUGHTS”.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks had “legit conversations” about Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson. However, he doesn’t think it got to the point where it got to Karlsson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Friedman means that it didn’t reach the point where the Sharks felt talks reached the stage where Karlsson would have to be asked to waive his no-movement clause to go to Edmonton.

Friedman also said he felt last summer that there was a high probability of Anaheim Ducks defenseman John Klingberg ending up with the Oilers. The blueliner was interested in Edmonton at the time but the salary-cap pieces couldn’t fit. Friedman no longer expects Klingberg will join the Oilers but expects he’ll be moved by the March 3 trade deadline.

Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin is only interested in a trade that will improve his club or provide him assets that he can use in another deal. Friedman isn’t sure Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun would make sense for the Wild as a potential replacement for Matt Dumba given their salary-cap concerns after this season.

The Ottawa Senators are considering rental defensemen. It would give them an opportunity to evaluate someone they’d like to re-sign plus they want to finish as strong as possible for their players and their fans.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 28, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 28, 2022

Brad Marchand makes a triumphant return to the Bruins lineup, the Canucks finally get their first win of the season, Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun suffers a setback in his recovery from a wrist injury, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Brad Marchand scored twice and collected an assist to lead the Boston Bruins to a 5-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. It was Marchand’s first game since undergoing double hip surgery in May. David Pastrnak had a goal and two assists while Jeremy Swayman made 28 saves for the Bruins (7-1-0). The Red Wings fall to 3-2-2.

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marchand wasn’t expected to return to action until the American Thanksgiving long weekend so he was well ahead of schedule in his recovery. Meanwhile, Bruins center David Krejci left the game with an apparent arm injury. He’s considered day-to-day and won’t be traveling to Columbus with the club for tonight’s game against the Blue Jackets.

The Vancouver Canucks picked up their first win of the season by holding off the Seattle Kraken 5-4 to give head coach Bruce Boudreau his 600th career NHL victory. Ilya Mikheyev scored twice and Conor Garland tallied what proved to be the game-winning goal as the Canucks record is now 1-5-2. Jaden Schwartz had a goal and an assist as the Kraken fall to 3-4-2.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speaking of the Canucks, they acquired center Jack Studnicka in exchange for goaltender Michael DiPietro and prospect Jonathan Myrenberg. Studnicka, 23, will try to get his NHL career on track after struggling to make the cut with the Bruins. The Canucks also placed defenseman Travis Dermott (concussion) on long-term injury reserve.

An overtime breakaway goal by Erik Karlsson lifted the San Jose Sharks over the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3. Sharks captain Logan Couture scored twice, including his 300th career NHL goal. Auston Matthews scored the game-tying goal in the third period for the Maple Leafs (4-3-1)while the Sharks are 3-7-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs continue to sleepwalk through October. This is the third time this season they’ve lost to a club that, on paper, they should’ve defeated, dropping games to the Montreal Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes. The best they can say about this loss is they at least get a loser point out of it.

Leon Draisaitl scored with 38 seconds remaining in the third period to give the Edmonton Oilers a 6-5 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each had a goal and two assists while Connor McDavid had a hat trick and chipped in an assist for the Oilers as they improve their record to 5-3-0. Patrick Kane and Max Domi each had a goal and two assists for the Blackhawks (4-3-0).

The Minnesota Wild doubled up the Ottawa Senators 4-2 to snap the latter’s four-game win streak. Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves while Kirill Kaprizov, Ryan Hartman and Frederic Gaudreau each had a goal and an assist for the Wild, who improve their record to 3-3-1. Alex DeBrincat had a goal and an assist for the Senators, who are 4-3-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Senators announced the signing of rookie center Mark Kastelic to a two-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $850K.

Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger turned in a 27-save shutout to blank the Washington Capitals 2-0 to improve his club’s record to 5-2-1. Jason Robertson and Joel Kiviranta were the goalscorers. The Capitals are 4-4-0 in their first eight games.

The Winnipeg Jets got third-period goals by Axel Jonsson-Fjallby and Blake Wheeler to snap a 4-4 tie in a 6-4 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck kicked out 40 shots as the Jets improved their record to 4-3-0. Jonathan Quick made just 13 saves for the Kings as they fall to 3-4-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hellebuyck was the difference in this game. The outcome could’ve been very different without him.

Roman Josi, Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene each had three points as the Nashville Predators scored five unanswered goals to defeat the St. Louis Blues 6-2. Juuse Saros made 32 stops for the win as the Predators improve to 3-4-1 while the Blues are 3-3-1. Brayden Schenn and Robert Thomas tallied for the Blues.

The Philadelphia Flyers got a 48-save effort from netminder Carter Hart to hold off the Florida Panthers by a score of 4-3. Joel Farabee had a goal and an assist for the Flyers, who move to 5-2-0 on the season. Eric Staal was held scoreless in his debut with the Panthers, who drop to 4-3-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier in the day, the Flyers announced Sean Couturier had suffered a setback in his recovery from an injured back and was no longer skating. Winger Cam Atkinson remains sidelined by an upper-body injury. They also claimed forward Kieffer Bellows off waivers from the New York Islanders.

The Montreal Canadiens nipped the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 on a late goal by Josh Anderson. Samuel Montembeault stopped 43 shots while Kaiden Guhle netted his first career NHL goal as the Canadiens improved to 4-4-0. Jeff Skinner and Dylan Cozens replied for the Sabres, who fall to 4-3-0.

IN OTHER NEWS…

DAILY FACEOFF: Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun is still listed as week-to-week in his recovery from off-season wrist surgery. He’s yet to play this season but has been the topic of trade speculation for weeks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And that speculation will drag on despite this setback in Chychrun’s recovery. However, he’s not going anywhere until he finally returns to action and interested teams can see how well he performs before they make any firm trade offers.

CBS SPORTS: New Jersey Devils goalie MacKenzie Blackwood has been sidelined by an upper-body injury.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers winger Vitali Kravtsov has been sidelined for the second time this season with another upper-body injury. He’s listed as day-to-day.

NHL.COM: The Rangers also signed defenseman Ben Harpur to a one-year contract.










NHL Rumor Mill – October 27, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – October 27, 2022

More speculation on Jakob Chychrun, the latest on Ethan Bear and more in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

LATEST ON JAKOB CHYCHRUN

SPORTSNET: In his latest “32 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman reports Jakob Chychrun remains a couple of weeks away from rejoining the Arizona Coyotes. Teams that are interested in acquiring him will want to see if he’ll be immediately impactful.

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (NHL Images).

The New York Islanders could be a suitor. However, Friedman wonders if it would make sense for them to part with draft picks right now.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see Chychrun as a fit with the Islanders because I don’t see their defense as an issue. They’re middle of the pack (16th) in shots-against per game (31.7), their penalty-killing is at 100 percent as of last night’s action and they have the sixth-best goals-against per game (2.57). Granted, their goaltending plays a big part in those last two stats but I don’t believe they need to bolster their blueline.

Scoring, however, is another matter. They’re 19th overall in goals-per-game (3.14) while their 12.5 power-play percentage ranks 25th overall.

Chychrun’s offense from the blueline could help but what they really need is a scoring forward. General manager Lou Lamoriello reportedly tried to acquire J.T. Miller from the Vancouver Canucks and came up short trying to sign Johnny Gaudreau and Nazem Kadri during the offseason.

GOPHNX.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Craig Morgan was asked why the Arizona Coyotes haven’t traded Chychrun yet. Put simply, it’s because they haven’t received an offer that would bring requisite value. He also thinks interested clubs want to see him play before committing assets in a trade.

Another reader pointed out Chychrun’s 10-team no-trade clause kicks in after this season. Morgan acknowledged it could make it difficult to move the blueliner to clubs with more tradeable assets. However, he feels the Coyotes will attempt to move him before the March 3 trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rival general managers could be counting on that in the hope that Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong will lower his asking price by then.

UPDATE ON ETHAN BEAR

Friedman also followed up on his weekend report regarding the Carolina Hurricanes looking at moving Ethan Bear. Two sources told him the 25-year-old defenseman made a trade request during the summer. The Vancouver Canucks have shown real interest. So did the Washington Capitals around the draft. The Toronto Maple Leafs could also be poking around.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman reiterates that the Hurricanes still see Bear as a legitimate NHL defenseman. They’re not willing to retain any portion of his $2.2 million salary for this season to facilitate a trade. He could end up on waivers and he’d be willing to report to their AHL affiliate to get in some playing time.

Washington Hockey Now’s Sammi Silber doesn’t see the Capitals revisiting their earlier interest in Bear. They’ve now got Erik Gustafsson on their blueliner with Matt Irwin as their seventh defenseman plus several options they can recall from the minors if necessary.

LATEST ON THE SABRES AND CANUCKS

With blueliners Mattias Samuelsson and Henri Jokiharju sidelined by injuries, Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams could be examining the trade market to see what’s available.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So far, they’re relying on call-ups Lawrence Pilut and Kale Clague. That could change if Samuelsson and/or Jokiharju are out longer than anticipated.

Friedman also doubts the Vancouver Canucks are in a hurry to replace head coach Bruce Boudreau. Part of the reason is financial as they still paying former coach Travis Green $2.75 million for this season. Boudreau’s salary pushes that to over $4 million.